Hey! So hopefully you found my last post on the “Eye of the Photographer” helpful or at least interesting. J
I said I would elaborate on the subjects so I’m going to talk about “A good photographer has a clear subject”. I’m not sure if I mentioned it but I’ve been doing a course through the New York Institute of Photography so that’s where I’m pulling all my info from.
The starting point of any photograph is to know what you want the subject to be and to make your viewer know it too. This should be your basic objective in every photograph you take.
To have a really great photograph (which I think we all want and continue to work on) you have to go one step further, the photo should not only clearly show the subject, but also express a universal theme. That happens when everything in the photograph comes together and has something to it that moves you. It doesn’t happen suddenly. When you aim to clearly show your subject, you will begin to get great photos that express a theme. Eventually, you will start to sense a theme through your viewfinder and capture it in your pictures. For example, you take pictures of children but you want to capture the theme of “babyhood”, “Innocence”, and “Youth”, or pictures of a wedding the theme of “love” or “joy”. That’s what takes it from a picture of your baby to a great photo of your child.
I wanted to give you an example so here is a picture I took that I feel has done this to some degree.
It’s a picture of Felishia's oldest son Maverick and her daughter Mia. I centered them right in the middle so you focus on them; the viewer immediately knows they are the subject. I was able to capture a moment, the theme, of love, innocence, peace. With so much going on around them there’s calmness about them. Felishia put up a picture of Mia sassing Maverick so to see the other side of their relationship is very sweet. She loves her big brother.
It could be easy to focus on the trees or the person in the background but when you know your subject and want to express it, you find a way to make the rest “disappear”. I just cropped the trees a little and made it black and white so the background faded out a little and the kids stand out.
I look forward to sharing the next part with you about focusing attention on the subject, and simplifying.